I was recently visiting the Vancouver Maritime Museum to research the ship St. Roch and found a very interesting piece in their collection. John Arnold marine chronometer no.176 was used by Captain George Vancouver from 1791 to 1795 when he charted the northwest coast of North America. Although the placard next to this historic timekeeper is woefully lacking details and the display itself rather underwhelming, there are some interesting notes in the book "From Maps to Metaphors: The Pacific World of George Vancouver". The editors state that A176 was one of 82 made, of which 15 survive. It has a Z-type balance and scratched on the inner great wheel is "Cleaned and jewelled in 1791 Finished by Mr Jeffries". The "1" seems to have been added later than the "76" of the movement's serial number. After Vancouver returned the chronometer to the Admiralty, it went to Australia with Matthew Flinders, and later accompanied William Bligh in 1806 when he went to take up the governorship of New South Wales. It was last recorded at London in 1850 when sent to Frodsham’s for repairs, then disappeared until 1981 when the Vancouver Maritime Museum purchased it at auction from Christie's. An article published before the sale in the London Guardian revealed the chronometer was originally purchased from Arnold in 1791 for £84. Arnold overhauled it in 1795 for £32 and change. After Bligh was booted from NSW, the Admiralty wrote to him asking for the chronometer but there is no record of a reply. The article stated that it “recently” turned up in England in working order and was offered by a private seller who wished to remain anonymous. The Vancouver Sun newspaper took up the story in 2007 when they featured the museum director who brought the timepiece home. After collecting more than $100,000 from various government and private sources, Mr. Inglis travelled to London for the auction. Turned out the heavy bidders, besides himself, was a telephone bidder from Germany and another from Australia represented in the audience by an agent. The action was lighting fast and in less than a minute Inglis’ bid equalling $89,000 won; the highest price paid for a chronometer at the time. The British government initially blocked export for a few months but eventually it made its way to the Vancouver Maritime Museum.